THE RIG

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E.C. McMullen Jr.
SHOULD YOU?
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DeepStar SixTHE RIG - 2010
USA Release: Oct. 5, 2010
Offspring Productions, Workshop Films 2, Strategic Film Partners, Anchor Bay Entertainment
Ratings: USA: R

A camera watches as a undersea drill bit slowly descends the depths to make contact with the bottom and... do what drills do.

We can only hear the conversation going on as the techs involved lower the drill or watch from the unmanned submersible getting this all recorded. Odd things happen and a snaggle toothed fish wrecks the camera.

The Rig
THE RIG movie is an homage to ALIEN

Topside, a storms coming and all non-essential crew - those that would have nothing to do during a storm - are sent back to land. This doesn't sit well with technician, Colin (Dan Benson), considered the kid on the rig. He has had it with living in his experienced and well-regarded older brother's shadow. On the other hand, his older brother, Freddy (Stacey Hinnen: BLACK AND WHITE) has put in the time and earned his respect. There are any number of ways the confrontational scene could have been made. Unfortunately, Colin comes off as a pouty whiner. What is coming out of his mouth makes sense, but the way Benson is acting it, and the way Peter Atencio directed it, is facepalm awful.

Elsewhere on the rig, Rig Captain Jim (William Forsythe: THE DEVIL'S REJECTS, Masters Of Horror: WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM, HACK!, Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN), squints evilly as he oversees the airlifts. He's not the villain in this movie, he just looks like William Forsyth. So Captain Jim huffs and gruffs as he struts his stuff.

Rodriguez (Carmen Perez: NOT FORGOTTEN) decides it's time for dinner, cuts off from her job, goes up to the mess deck, and totally disses chef Virgil (Eric Bivens-Bush: NOBODY SMILING) and his hard work preparing what sounds like a delicious meal. Faulkner (Robert Zachar: STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT, PYTHON II), already eating and reading a book, smiles at her bitching and ignores her complaints.

Meanwhile, as company boss man Ken (Art LaFleur: THE BLOB [1988]) back on land, is waiting for his big moment, somebody named Earl (Dennis LaValle) gets killed by something and Jim blames Dobbs (Scott Martin, also co-wrote this). Jim isn't too fond of Dobbs anyway since the guy is having an affair with Jim's daughter Carey (Serah D'Laine: FLIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, PARASOMNIA), and not trying too hard to be discrete about it. But Jim is especially upset now that the death of a crewmember could have been avoided if Dobbs had only done his job. Dobbs goes to Carey for comfort, complaining that her father doesn't think too highly of him.

Tremors
THE RIG poster is a homage to TREMORS!
Is "HOMAGE" the right word?

Hey you human piece of shit! You just got a man killed!

Meanwhile, in the control room, Andrew (Marcus T. Paulk) and Wallace (Jacob Bruce), find all communication with the outside is cut off after the storm fires a lightening bolt at their radio mast. So all of the characters in play and we see some varmint that that can stand upright, likes to crawl across the floor and begins killing off the workers.

Based on a story and characters created by their second director of Photography, C.W. Fallin, and co-screenwritten by their actor Scott Martin, Marilee A. Benson, and one of their producers, Lori Chavez, THE RIG is actually a well written story for a "Haunted House at Sea" movie, which is what it is supposed to be.

Despite the obvious TREMORS-style poster, Director Peter Atencio, on his first feature and first Horror movie, decided that THE RIG would be his homage to ALIEN. ALIEN doesn't need one: or at least, it doesn't need another one. And it certainly doesn't need a 30 or 40th one, but that's what Peter wanted to do. And in case anyone was missing the point, the name of the Oil Rig company is Weyland Drilling. Ahem.

And since we are talking about two of the best hardcore Science, Science Fiction Horror Thriller movies ever made, it's time for a

!!!SCIENCE MOMENT!!!:
The varmint in THE RIG is supposed to be a creature that lives at the bottom of the ocean its entire life. We did something to piss it off, and so it comes out of the water to kill all humans.

Continued at The Science Moment/TheRig.

What's worse, THE RIG also gets a

!!!UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHE ALERT!!!:
And it's bad news when a movie gets both of these. What's an UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHE ALERT or URCA? Go to my URCA page to see what its all about, then go to URCA/TheRig, to see why this movie gets one.

BEWARE though. The UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHE ALERT is loaded with SPOILERS.

William Forsythe
This is my Unhappy face. And Right now I am REALLY Unhappy Face!

In the DVD extras, Producer James D. Benson feels obliged to point out repeatedly and again, that THE RIG was shot on a very low budget. Granted. And I'll accept that the look of the cheepnis varmints can be blamed on a low budget.

What can't be blamed on the low budget is their ineptly handled origins, which were tacked on at the last minute after a few audience surveys.

In fact, according to the DVD commentary, about a third of the movie had to be reshot. It was actually much worse than this. Too often, a hackneyed cliche is thrown out in a poor imitation of a scary scene, and you'll notice them, because they're so out of place with what is happening. None of the actors seemed to have had enough rehearsal to grow into their characters, they just appear to be spouting lines. Even Director Peter admits that he feels the music of Bruce Fowler (MISERY, HANNIBAL, BLADE II, MEN IN BLACK II, RED DRAGON, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN [all], THE RING TWO, THE AMITYVILLE HORROR [2005], BATMAN BEGINS, THE ISLAND, DOOM, THE X-MEN: LAST STAND, TRANSFORMERS [all], THE DARK KNIGHT, BABYLON A.D., THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR, SURROGATES, SHERLOCK HOLMES) really saves the picture.

Perhaps it does, but not much more than that.

2 Shriek Girls.

Shriek GirlsShriek Girls
This review copyright 2010 E.C.McMullen Jr.

The Rig (2010) on IMDb
HERE WEAR ONE OF MINE
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